"Closest to my heart of all the standards in the guide, though, is the recognition that housing is important for making pleasant and civilised parts of the city. The new housing built in London today is most often designed to maximise the units that can be crammed on to the site. These huge boxes are then clad in some random and vaguely fashionable material that has little relationship to the surrounding architectural context.
"Take St George's Beaufort Park development in Colindale, north-west London. This ugly set of overscaled buildings, faced in that favourite developer vernacular of panels of brick and plaster, creates a meaningless urban plan that does not relate to its site.
"The buildings are like 19th-century Berlin Mietskaserne (tenements) but with public spaces modelled on Mayfair squares (needless to say, this does not feel like Mayfair). Inside are cleverly titled apartment types (the “Manhattan”) that hover somewhere between studio and a one-bedroom apartment, with bedrooms that you can barely squeeze a double bed inside."